DesignThinkers 2014 Branding by TAXI

Dave Watson reflects on the branding for DesignThinkers 2014.


What did taking on the DesignThinkers conference branding mean to you and your team at the time?
It meant a lot to myself and the overall team. When word started to spread at TAXI that we were going to take the project on, I received a lot of emails and texts from team members asking to be part of the team. Not only did we want to help the RGD put “bums in seats” but we wanted to create work that would shine TAXI in a very positive light within the design community.
Explain your concept and how you and your team got there? 
Our concept was inspired from the massive changes that were taking place in the design world at the time. Both society and technology were changing at a massive rate and (to a certain extent) we felt that there were some in the community that weren’t changing with it. We called our concept THE AWAKENING. We thought it would be fun to suggest that aliens were being sent to earth to reprogram the minds of designers and enable them to reach their full creative potential. Once we had the idea everything started to flow from a design perspective. We then contacted celebrated Canadian illustrator Andrew Kolb to help us bring our story to life. He worked closely with us to create a collection of illustrations that were used both in print and in the animations. He really went above and beyond for us. Thank you Andrew!
What was your biggest challenge being the Design Partner for DesignThinkers?
I think the biggest challenge was knowing when to say “enough”. We were having a ton of fun and we really wanted to impress that we over invested in the time it took to get everything done. I am so thankful that TAXI empowered us to take this project on. Not many agencies would go to those lengths. 
How did it feel to present your work to a bunch of designers? And then see your work live during the event and witness people's reactions to it?
It was like doing magic tricks for a bunch of magicians…a very tough crowd. However, everybody that reached out to me were very kind in their appreciation of the work. It made it all worth the late nights.
What are you most proud of from your own experience? Is there anything you would have done differently?
I am like most designers. It is difficult for me to look back at the work because there are so many things that I would have refined or made better. I suppose that’s what makes us who we are.
What has been your favourite DesignThinkers branding, besides your own, and why?
I would have to say the work that Overdrive did the year after THE AWAKENING. They took our idea of “let’s do more than just a poster” style of thinking and supercharged it. The work was really well done.


Stay tuned for more insights into DesignThinkers branding from the past 20 years.

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